This nutrient-rich pesto can be used in a variety of ways. Use as dip with vegetables or pita, top over whole wheat crusty bread for an appetizer, add to sandwiches or wraps, mix with pasta or top over grilled chicken or fish.
8 ounces baby spinach leaves
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted*
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
In a food processor or blender jar, combine the spinach, almonds, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, lemon peel and red pepper flakes. Pulse lightly to blend. Gradually add the oil, blending until well-chopped and blended, but not puréed.
Transfer the spinach-almond mixture to a medium bowl.
Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Serves 8 (2 tablespoon servings).
*Cooking tip: Toast the almonds in a small, heavy, dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the skillet frequently for 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown to release the flavorful oils.
Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories: 100; Calories from fat: 90; Total fat: 9g; Saturated fat: 1.5; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 60mg; Total carbohydrate: 4g; Dietary fiber: 2g; Sugars: 1g; Protein: 4g